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Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100

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Imagine, if you can, the world in the year 2100.

In Physics of the Future, Michio Kaku—the New York Times bestselling author of Physics of the Impossible—gives us a stunning, provocative, and exhilarating vision of the coming century based on interviews with over three hundred of the world's top scientists who are already inventing the future in their labs. The result is the most authoritative and scientifically accurate description of the revolutionary developments taking place in medicine, computers, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, energy production, and astronautics.

In all likelihood, by 2100 we will control computers via tiny brain sensors and, like magicians, move objects around with the power of our minds. Artificial intelligence will be dispersed throughout the environment, and Internet-enabled contact lenses will allow us to access the world's information base or conjure up any image we desire in the blink of an eye.

Meanwhile, cars will drive themselves using GPS, and if room-temperature superconductors are discovered, vehicles will effortlessly fly on a cushion of air, coasting on powerful magnetic fields and ushering in the age of magnetism.

Using molecular medicine, scientists will be able to grow almost every organ of the body and cure genetic diseases. Millions of tiny DNA sensors and nanoparticles patrolling our blood cells will silently scan our bodies for the first sign of illness, while rapid advances in genetic research will enable us to slow down or maybe even reverse the aging process, allowing human life spans to increase dramatically.

In space, radically new ships—needle-sized vessels using laser propulsion—could replace the expensive chemical rockets of today and perhaps visit nearby stars. Advances in nanotechnology may lead to the fabled space elevator, which would propel humans hundreds of miles above the earth's atmosphere at the push of a button.

But these astonishing revelations are only the tip of the iceberg. Kaku also discusses emotional robots, antimatter rockets, X-ray vision, and the ability to create new life-forms, and he considers the development of the world economy. He addresses the key questions: Who are the winner and losers of the future? Who will have jobs, and which nations will prosper?

All the while, Kaku illuminates the rigorous scientific principles, examining the rate at which certain technologies are likely to mature, how far they can advance, and what their ultimate limitations and hazards are. Synthesizing a vast amount of information to construct an exciting look at the years leading up to 2100, Physics of the Future is a thrilling, wondrous ride through the next 100 years of breathtaking scientific revolution. (From the Hardcover Edition)

(Duration: 15:39:15)

416 pages, Hardcover

First published March 15, 2011

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About the author

Michio Kaku

93 books6,182 followers
(Arabic: ميشيو كاكو
Russian: Митио Каку
Chinese: 加來道雄
Japanese: ミチオ・カク)

Dr. Michio Kaku is an American theoretical physicist at the City College of New York , best-selling author, a futurist, and a communicator and popularizer of science. He has written several books about physics and related topics of science.

He has written two New York Times Best Sellers, Physics of the Impossible (2008) and Physics of the Future (2011).

Dr. Michio is the co-founder of string field theory (a branch of string theory), and continues Einstein’s search to unite the four fundamental forces of nature into one unified theory.

Kaku was a Visitor and Member (1973 and 1990) at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and New York University. He currently holds the Henry Semat Chair and Professorship in theoretical physics at the City College of New York.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,294 reviews
Profile Image for Kim Pallister.
129 reviews22 followers
April 1, 2012
This was a horrible book. I gave up on it a third of the way through. I'm not sure why people give the author high marks. Perhaps his earlier works are better and he phone this one in.

The book claims to look at scientific advances in a number of fields (computers, biology, etc), and drawing from interviews with hundreds of leading scientists, make predictions about the next 90 years.

What it does instead is the worst kind of pop-science futurism. The author picks and chooses from science that supports his favorite hypotheses, and then draws them out to extreme predictions. In doing so he pays almost no attention to factors that could influence other directions, gives no insight into his calculations (if any were done) on how to get to the endpoint. I'm OK with the idea of making concepts accessible to the layperson, but the leap from there to "trust me, I'm a scientist" is one that goes too far.

In addition, the areas of the book he covered that I have some expertise in (silicon design and manufacturing, augmented reality, virtual reality) were so riddled with error, unimaginative future use cases, and misuse of terminology, that I couldn't trust him on other areas in which I'm not an expert.

To add insult to injury, he uses a horrible amount of adverb-laden hyperbole. The first chapter alone had enough "we will have the power of the gods of mythology!" mentions that I almost didn't make it to chapter two.
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
795 reviews3,612 followers
October 7, 2019

What a significant and visionary milestone in the evolution of the entertaining non-fiction book.

How difficult it sometimes has to be to breathe life into the scientific genre can be measured by the memory of the response to textbooks at school, which can happily be described as mixed. In some areas, more competition and free competition would pay off in exceptional cases. The book can be used as an example of the gems that non-fiction authors can master, as a collection of future technologies, trimmed for readability for laypersons and pure entertainment value.

As the author has already subdivided into possible, unlikely and impossible technologies in previous works, in this book, he divides the 21st century into three periods and uses selected thematic blocks to show the future development in time-lapse. The topic is located in the theoretically possible, but still untried and the unconfirmed terrain. The trick, especially in category three at the end of the century, which is sometimes hard to believe, is that all technologies, machines, materials, and processes have already been tried out and their realization is possible. Of course, the time to implementation is estimated, but no thought of the book is mere guesswork or science-fiction. Instead, it is based on verifiable facts for which Kaku has interviewed several scientists, visited their laboratories and refined them into a compressed compendium. In particular, the apparent structure and easy-to-understand language let one visually walk through the considerable number of pages in no time.

Especially for fans of Futurism and all related genres, there are mountains of ideas and fantasy creations whose realizability does not harm the imagination in any way. Instead, on the contrary, it gives additional impetus to the notion that, if achievements that are impossible shortly become possible, the developmental thrust will be all the more astonishing in centuries.

It is also amazing how many founding fathers of science fiction have correctly predicted the development down to the last detail. Also, how many current genre representatives, due to the galloping research, run the risk of accidentally slipping into the typical genre of novels, as their visionary ideas suddenly become an everyday occurrence overnight.

The grandiose ability of Kaku to make all the boring and dust-dry natural sciences so lively and exciting should be a guiding principle for authors of all non-fiction literature. Mainly if they write for the education sector, as understandability and entertainment value, especially in this area, unfortunately, often fall by the wayside. The only unworkable utopia is that internationally successful and wealthy authors are beginning to transform the antiquated school material. Alternatively, underpaid schoolbook authors will be kissed overnight by the Muse and mutate into dazzling narrators. Unfortunately, both will not happen so soon, even though it would be so important, given the educational misery and partly old foundations, to sow the enthusiasm for knowledge acquisition where one would expect it. At school.


Welch ein famoser und visionärer Meilenstein in der Evolution des unterhaltsamen Sachbuchs.

Wie schwer es mitunter sein muss, dem Wissenschaftsgenre Leben einzuhauchen, lässt sich an der Erinnerung an die Resonanz auf Schulbücher ermessen, welche mit Glück als durchwachsen bezeichnet werden kann. In manchen Bereichen würde sich mehr Konkurrenz und freier Wettbewerb ausnahmsweise eben doch auszahlen. Als Beispiel für die Perlen, die Sachbuchautoren gelingen können, kann diese auf Lesbarkeit für Laien und Unterhaltungswert getrimmte Sammlung zukünftiger Technologien gelten.

Wie der Autor schon in vorangegangenen Werken eine Unterteilung in mögliche, unwahrscheinliche und unmögliche Technologien vorgenommen hat, so unterteilt er in diesem Buch das 21 Jahrhundert in 3 Zeiträume und zeigt anhand ausgewählter Themenblöcke die zukünftige Entwicklung im Zeitraffer. Dabei ist die Thematik im rein theoretisch möglichen, aber noch unerprobten und unbestätigten Terrain angesiedelt. Der, besonders in Kategorie 3 gegen Ende des Jahrhundert mitunter schwer zu glaubende, Kniff an der Sache ist, dass sämtliche Technologien, Maschinen, Materialien und Verfahren bereits erprobt wurden und ihre Realisierung möglich ist. Natürlich sind die Zeiträume bis zur Verwirklichung Schätzungen, nur entspricht kein Gedanke des Buches bloßer Vermutung oder Science-Fiction. Sondern fußt auf überprüfbaren Fakten, für deren Zusammentragung Kaku etliche Wissenschaftler interviewt, deren Laboratorien besichtigt und zu einem komprimierten Kompendium zusammengepresst hat. Besonders die übersichtliche Struktur und angenehm verständliche Sprache lassen einen die beträchtliche Seitenanzahl im Nu visuell durchwandern.

Gerade für Freunde von Futurismus und allen damit zusammenhängenden Genres finden sich Berge an Ideen und Fantasiegebilden, deren Realisierbarkeit der Imagination in keiner Weise schadet. Sondern sie im Gegenteil durch die Vorstellung zusätzlich beflügelt, dass wenn in so verhältnismäßig naher Zukunft unmöglich gedachte Errungenschaften möglich sein werden, der Entwicklungsschub in Jahrhunderten noch umso erstaunlicher anmuten wird. Erstaunlich ist auch, wie viele Gründerväter der Science Fiction die Entwicklung bis ins Detail richtig prognostiziert haben. Und wie viele aktuelle Genrevertreter aufgrund der galoppierenden Forschung Gefahr laufen, unbeabsichtigt ins normale Romangenre zu rutschen, da ihre gerade noch visionären Ideen über Nacht plötzlich Alltag werden.

Die grandiose Fähigkeit Kakus, all die als langweilig und staubtrocken gebrandmarkten Naturwissenschaften so lebendig und spannend zu gestalten, sollte Autoren sämtlicher Sachliteratur ein Leitbild sein. Besonders wenn sie für den Bildungssektor schreiben, da Verständlichkeit und Unterhaltungswert gerade in diesem Bereich leider häufig auf der Strecke bleiben. Womit die einzige undurchführbare Utopie wohl ist, dass international erfolgreiche und wohlhabende Autoren beginnen den antiquierten Schulstoff umzugestalten. Oder unterbezahlte Schulbuchautoren über Nacht von der Muse geküsst werden und zu blendenden Erzählern mutieren.

Beides wird leider nicht so bald geschehen, obwohl es angesichts von Bildungsmiseren und einem teils antiquierten Fundamenten ruhenden Lernstoff so wichtig wäre, die Begeisterung für Wissenserwerb dort zu säen, wo man ihn eigentlich vermuten würde. In der Schule.
Profile Image for Michael.
1,094 reviews1,509 followers
April 14, 2013
Lot of thrilling stuff here in one competent package from a scientist who puts on a futurologist’s hat to give us a tour of how far science will advance and change society over the next 100 years. His topics cut a broad swath with chapters on each of the following: computers, artificial intelligence, medicine, nanotechnology, energy, space travel, wealth, and humanity’s stages of civilization. It’s fun to hear from a knowledgeable writer just how likely it is we will achieve many of the themes of science fiction.

Ordinarily, I digest technological progress in little blips of news pieces or brief magazine features that tend to bounce off my mind. I know from my own experience how science accomplishments get hyped and distorted in the media. For these reasons, it was very satisfying to get updates and reasoned projections on a wide variety of fields of work

The doubling of computer processing power each year has gone on for decades, conforming to Moore’s Law. Continued shrinking of transistor size driving this progression will soon reach a limit based on quantum limits to how small circuit templates can be etched. Still, before that limit is reached, computing capacity will be astounding and cheap processing power will be emdedded everywhere imaginable. Some of you will have played with the Android mobile phone voice interface Siri. I asked it "Why is There Air?", and in seconds it gave me a link to the Bill Cosby routine video from 1964. Pretty handy power already here. The recent release of Google glasses points the way to where portable computing combined with wireless Internet access might take us. Kaku projects that the only screen we will need in the future will a transparent one within contact lenses. Circuits with microlasers are under way that can beam data or video images right on the retina.

Computing power readily translates into great success in playing chess, which is based on picking the best move from projecting zillions of possible responses of the opponent. However, true artificial intelligence (AI) progress is stuck in a rut. Attempts to program in autonomy are stymied by barriers in achieving performance based on common sense, and pattern recognition is barely at the level of the mosquito. But “bottom up” approaches for robots learning from errors are beginning to hold promise, and simulations based on brain circuitry are becoming a focus. On the question of when computers with advanced articifical intelliegence will achieve self consciousness (“singularity” in sci fi parlance), Kaku doesn’t know whether to side with those that say 20 years, others who say 100 years, or still others who say never. Unlike the Termnator scenario with Skynet starting a machine-human war, the author thinks we will make sure our robots are kind, addressing the contradictions possible in Asimovs 3 laws and avoiding the temptation to automate Predator drones in warfare.

The medicine section of the book was fun for me due to my background in biomedical science and recent work on telemedicine programs. Having a computer interface through contact lenses and wireless voice control should prove pretty effective in medical care and emergency medicine. Kaku book predicts that within 100 years humans will to be able to control computers with their mind. Already we have paraplegics with scalp sensors linked to computer controls that they can write email and play 3D games. Next will be mind-controlled arms and legs for such patients. So maybe we won't have war with machines like Terminator movies make hay with. Biotechnology fused with nanotechnology has a lot of room for speculative scenarios. And if the genetic folks look like they are headed toward bringing back the mammoth, should we try to recover the Neanderthal? Would we put them in a zoo or Harvard? Are we on the way to being able to make a Jurassic Park? Though DNA is too degraded, maybe we can make a generic dinosaur by interpolating between bird and lizard genomes to recreated the ancestral genes. If the snake retains the genes for legs in a suppressed state, maybe some ancient genes are already in there.

Nanotechnology’s promise of “making something from nothing” is still far from achieving machines that can carry out molecular assembly from raw materials. Still Kaku does a good job in covering early stages in progress along these lines and the technical issues involved. He has a nicely concentrated discussion over the implications of a future society where jobs and work are largely unneeded. The worker’s mantra of “each according to his ability” will change into “to each according to his desire.” Similar to many sci fi renderings, many believe that:
…without the motivating factor of scarcity and money, it could lead to a self-indulgent, degenerate society that sinks to its lowest level. Only a handful of the most artistically motivated will strive to write poetry. The rest of us, the critics’ claim, will become good-for-nothing loafers and slackers.

For the future of energy, he is deft and informative about progress on initiatives such as hydrogen powered cars, fusion plants, solar energy plants in orbit, and frictionless transportation using magnetic lifting driven with superconductivity. For the future of space travel, he seems reasonable in his projections for colonies on the moons of Earth and other planets and exploration of asteroids. Serious work is going on the dream of a space elevator, but prospects for massive production of materials strong enough to sustain such a device are unclear. Kaku favors the likelihood of detecting an alien civilization, but he is pretty cautious in predicting the sci fi dream of spaceships with “ramjet” engines scooping up hydrogen as fuel for a fusion engine or with antimatter drives. Instead he seems to favor unmanned interstellar exploration by tiny craft with self-replicating miniature robots, possibly in the form swarming nanobots that can join up in various ways to morph into diverse machines.

The book is an easy read for people with only modest scientific literacy. For sci fi fans, it should whet their appetite even more for wonders of the future.
Profile Image for Gendou.
585 reviews261 followers
May 1, 2011
This books is more about the TECHNOLOGY of the future than the physics thereof.
Really, if you've kept up with Tech news, you can just skip reading this book...
I counted no fewer than 34 references to "God" or "gods", a bad sign on it's own.
There is more time dedicated to ancient mythology than to actual physics!
The most annoying is the indicative future used without proper qualifiers.
For example, he says something "will happen", instead of examining the LIKELIHOOD that it will happen.
This is Kaku's worst writing habit, his hyperbolic/extreme language a close second.
He loves to use words like "telepathy" and "magic" when he really means mind-machine interfaces and advanced technology.
His over-confident tone is made worse by the preposterousness of some of the claims!
Kaku bizarrely champions Kurzweil and like-mined wearers of tinfoil hats.
The whole singularity silliness is transparent nonsense to computer scientists.
Kaku's proposed "Caveman principle" is moronic, he really needs to re-read "The Selfish Gene"...
This book is full of historical inaccuracies, if not dubious over-simplifications.
Kaku blames human aging on 2nd law of thermodynamics, which is entirely incorrect.
Aging is caused primarily by the shortening of telomeres, which is controlled by the genes.
He goes on to correctly describe this, but his description contradicts this prior, false claim.
The book is full of these outrageous claims which seem not to be meant literally at all.
Rather, his writing style is to vomit extreme sounding language at the reader, presumably for entertainment.
This "Discovery Channel" bullshit is horribly offensive, and intellectually dishonest.
Kaku colorfully describes frogs and flies as "lower organisms", as if to mock readers with a High School education.
As if to prove how out of touch he is, Kaku proposes it will soon be common place to have one's genome on CD-ROM.
CD-ROM? Who still uses CD-ROMs?! Get with the program, grandpa!!
I can't count the number of times I vented my frustration by saying "cool story, bro" aloud while reading this book...

On a lighter note, the book includes a good commentary on economic bubble, and the changing world of music/newspapers.

The final message of the book is that "the people living today are the most important ever".
This is justified by our being the generation building a "planetary civilization".
I can't stand this sort of arrogant, self-centered grandiosity.
Profile Image for Robert Kroese.
Author 53 books598 followers
November 25, 2011
I got this book out of the local library because I heard the author on NPR and the book sounded interesting. I'm doing research for a near-future sci-fi novel and this sounded right up my alley.

First of all, the title is a misnomer. This book should be called Technology of the Future, as it's only tangentially about physics. The prose is painfully bad at times, tending toward cliches and mixed metaphors. Consider this gem, for example:

"Like a kid in a candy store, he delights in delving into uncharted territory, making breakthroughs in a wide range of hot button topics."

Or this one:

"In a word, perhaps no."

I found the references to Greek mythology and current cinema strained and pointless, and most of the content of the book is dumbed down to an almost ridiculous degree. It's also somewhat vague, repetitive and occasionally self-contradictory. Kaku is very "gee whiz isn't this neat" about everything and his attempt to deal with the social and ethical ramifications of the technologies he's gushing about read like essays written for a high school English assignment.

Still, there are some really cool ideas hidden amongst the nonsense, so if you get the book from the library like I did and skim through all the blather, it's worth picking up.
Profile Image for Mike Mullin.
Author 14 books1,646 followers
June 6, 2011
Excellent when Kaku focuses on technology, physics or string theory. When he veers onto other topics such as history, education, or culture Kaku produces about one WTF? statement per page. Not only are his opinions on these subjects often totally unsupported by evidence, they occasionally contradict other assertions found a few pages away. Even when Kaku sticks with what he knows, his predictions for the future seem almost laughably optimistic and naive. Every problem has a technological solution that, like a glittery rainbow unicorn, will swoop down to make us happier and wealthier. Never mind that all technologies have dark sides--in one blackly humorous passage Kaku extols the virtues of antimatter as rocket fuel while briefly sweeping over its potential as a global suicide device. By the fiftieth time Kaku used the phrase "In the future," I was thinking: In the future, we'll all have access to drugs as good as the ones Kaku's taking right now.
Profile Image for Efka.
453 reviews253 followers
March 29, 2016
Apie šią knygą galima kalbėti daug ir ilgai, bet pakaks pasakyti tiek: jei išsipildys bent trečdalis to, ką Michio Kaku numano, kaip galimą žmonijos ateitį, mes iš esmės būsim dievais. Bent jau pagal tradicinį, antikinį ar pagoniškąjį dievų supratimą.

Taip, yra ir čia keistų prognozių. Yra ir tokių prognozių, kurios jau po keletos metų po knygos išleidimo nepasitvirtino ("Naftos barelis šiuo metu kainuoja apie 120 dolerių ir nepanašu, kad ateityje dėl ko nors ši kaina turėtų kristi"), bet yra ir tokių prognozių, kurios aiškios, tikėtinos ir skamba labai logiškai.

Ši knyga yra žinojimo kvintesencija. Perskaityti ją beveik privaloma kiekvienam save gerbiančiam fantastui, technokratui ar šiaip apie ateitį smalsaujančiam žmogui. Bet be viso to, dar reiktų nepamiršti, ką sakė I. Asimov'as, kurio teiginį šioje knygoje citavo ir Michiu: "Liūdniausias dabartinės visuomenės aspektas yra tas, kad mokslas žinias kaupia greičiau, nei visuomenė išmintį." Todėl reikia tikėtis, kad mes, žmonija, sukaupsime ir išminties, nes informacija be jos - tik šlamštas.
Profile Image for Marty Essen.
Author 9 books42 followers
November 2, 2015
This is probably not a book some hard-core science fuddy-duddy is going to enjoy. But if you are just fascinated by learning new things or contemplating the future, this soft-core science book is for you.

For me, any book that makes learning fun is a good one. Just think of how many people will pick up Professor Kaku's book that haven't read much more than a science-related newspaper article since high school!

My favorite sections of Physics of the Future were the chapters on the Future of Energy (especially his discussion on global warming) and the Future of Space Travel (especially his discussion on nanoships). But so much is covered here that most people will find something that piques their interest.

Professor Kaku has a gift for making learning about science wonderful and exciting. And in this book, he'll make you "think of the possibilities!"

Marty Essen, author of Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents
Profile Image for Faith.
1,846 reviews516 followers
August 5, 2018
I had not heard of this author until I read that former President Clinton was reading a couple of his books. Now I plan to read more by him. This book gave me a lot to think about and explained technology and concepts in a way that made them accessible to me. Fortunately, the author writes about a lot more than physics. He covers many areas of the sciences and social sciences and interweaves ideas from various disciplines in a comprehensible and entertaining manner.
Profile Image for Sam Lichtenstein.
7 reviews9 followers
May 1, 2012
I read a couple hundred pages on an airplane, and I regret having made an impulse-purchase of this book in the airport bookstore. Like others, I was disturbed by the poor writing (annoying tone, repetitive and useless allusions to mythology, weird Star Trek obsession...). And as others stressed (and which if I'd had more time before my flight I might have realized by skimming more thoroughly before purchasing), this book has practically no physics in it. At some point I might go back and read some of Kaku's predictions in more detail, but on the whole they strike me as no more illuminating than the guesses of anyone even modestly familiar with some of the early-stage technologies the author is riffing on. In particular, there is very little depth in his analysis of the impact caused by various technological shifts. For (what strikes me as) more incisive futurism, I suggest the work (especially on "ems" or whole-brain emulation) of economist Robin Hanson.
Profile Image for Daniel Clausen.
Author 11 books458 followers
December 6, 2016
A fantastic journey into the future of science, technology, and humanity.
Profile Image for Mahbubeh.
90 reviews35 followers
January 16, 2020
بالاخره بعد از چند ماه خوندن این کتاب تموم شد! کتابی نبود که بگیرم دستم و یهو 100 صفحه بخونم. کتابهای غیر داستانی کلا خوندنشون بیشتر از کتابهای داستانی طول میکشه. کتاب طوری بود که باید آروم آروم میخوندمش و مزه مزه میکردم و بهش فکر میکردم و حسرت میخوردم.. حسرت اینکه احتمالا وقتی خیلی از این اتفاقات میفته من نیستم که ببینمشون.
این دومین کتابی بود که از میچیو کاکو میخوندم. از سری کتابهای علم برای عموم که نوشته. اولین کتابی که ازش خونئم آینده ی ذهن بود و خیلی دوستش داشتم و تصمیم گرفتم بقیه کتابهاش رو هم بخونم.
میچیو کاکو برای نوشتن کتاب فیزیک آینده با حدود 300 دانشمند در حوزه های مختلف صحبت کرده و با توجه به تکنولوژی های در حال ساخت و در برنامه ی ساخت آینده رو تا سال 2100 پیش بینی کرده. آینده ی کامپیوتر، آینده ی هوش مصنوعی، آینده ی پزشکی، نانوتکنولوژی، انرژی، آینده ی سفر فضایی، آینده ی ثروت و آینده ی بشریت.
نکات خیلی خیلی جالبی تو کتاب مطرح میشه و خوندنش رو پر از لذت و هیجان برای آینده میکنه. اگر به موضوعات علمی، آینده و تکنولوژی علاقه دارید پیشنهاد میکنم حتما این کتاب رو بخونید.
Profile Image for Max.
343 reviews309 followers
June 7, 2017
A light fun albeit selective exploration of the future of technology. From internet connected contact lenses and magnetic cars to starships and designer children, Kaku identifies many of the possible advances to occur in the next 100 years. If his optimistic presentation holds it will be a great time to live.

His greatest concern seems to be global warming which in his hopeful projections, mankind is able to handle. However he just touches the problem of man’s violent history and leaves out the future of weaponry and other sinister uses of technology. With all the conflict in the world as I read this from the Ukraine to Africa to the Middle East to Ferguson Missouri, it is hard for me to feel as upbeat as the author.

Kaku’s wondrous world of 2100 could be, but will it? Perhaps his quote of Gandhi at the end best expresses the challenges we humans face to make it another 100 years:

The Roots of Violence:

Wealth without work,
Pleasure without conscience,
Knowledge without character,
Commerce without morality,
Science without humanity
Worship without sacrifice,
Politics without principles.

Profile Image for Chris Rhodes.
263 reviews541 followers
October 14, 2016
Thoroughly engrossing, entertaining, interesting, and well put together; I enjoyed listening to this a lot, and thought it gave a great and insightful look into things that I don't know anything about. But now I kinda do! Michio Kaku made it all accessible while not dumbing it down at all - he's just got a great writing voice and way of expressing things that's easy to follow. Obviously knows what he's talking about and cares about giving you as much information, in as engaging a way as possible. In general just a lot of fun to read and experience!
Profile Image for Bryan Alexander.
Author 4 books277 followers
June 5, 2016
Physics of the Future is a light, breezy account of where many scientists and technologists saw their fields advancing as of 2011. It's a nice historical document in that way, and also a very easy to read sketch of the future from an expert perspective. It's also a very positive, optimistic book.

Michio Kaku breaks things down by scientific and technological disciplines, exploring each one in turn: artificial intelligence, energy, space travel, health care, computing (again), nanotechnology, and industry (dubbed "wealth"). He invokes a mythological figure for each chapter, not to show off but to embody his thesis: "By 2011, out destiny is to become like the gods we once worshipped and feared." (10) Personally I think things will be as likely to turn out in terms of Lovecraftian horror.

I give Kaku credit for doing the interviews underpinning this book. He connects with some fine folks, notably the criminally underappreciated Mark Weiser (19ff), sf writer Greg Benford (142)

But I have many issues with Physics of the Future, starting with its tunnel vision. Yes, it's a book about scientific development, yet Kaku can't help himself from speculating about politics, business, and culture. These reflections are glancing blows, far too brief to be useful, and often simply naive or bizarre. There's a discussion of the entertainment industry without taking copyright seriously. He calls for a scramble for controlling the world, but doesn't see this as, say, destructive (unless he's fine with that: see 297). Kaku discourses on energy in the laboratory, which is fine (although too bullish on fusion for me), but then offers suggestions for companies that fly in the face of everything we know about the energy industries and their politics. His coda, a science fiction imagining of some days in the life in 2100, manages to envision a person's immediate experience while flailing into a cartoonish socio-cultural void.

I can take issue with speculations in each chapter. There's not enough on peer to peer computing, for example. The wealth chapter (again, really about industrial production) is very friendly towards increasing total economic output and the options available to individuals, but isn't too interested in distribution, much less class or international politics, seeing things really as a matter of education. He's too pessimistic on space travel, missing the private sector and new national projects. Yes, it's easy to pick on another futurist, but when we make these forecasts they reveal much about our predispositions and research.

By the book's end I was grumpy, and annoyed at the frequent lashings of Hollywood sf movies. Despite myself I did like the triumphant image of humans making a Kardashev Type I civilization. And Kaku's optimism, while I can poke holes in it, is something I personally need, being too easily disposed to a Slavic/academic melancholy. Maybe our dystopia-addled era can use a dose of Kaku.
Profile Image for Colin Bendell.
Author 2 books6 followers
September 2, 2011
Wow. I'm super excited about the future! Michio Kaku connects work being accomplished the labs with the applications in the future. This isn't about imagining some mythical utopia, but looking at the discoveries and inventions that exist today and how they can be combined and utilized in the future once the economies of scale and mass production are flushed out.

For example: We already can remotely control micro robots and we have the ability to analyze cells on a single micro chip. In the future we should be able to inject micro controlled robots into the blood stream that then can perform biopsies and analyze the results instantaneously.

The only odd thing about the book is that Kaku seemed to reference 'Pentium' chips numerous times in the first half. It was almost as if the first part of the book was written a decade ago when people still knew what Pentium chips were.

On a personal note, I am not filled with dread of a future when moores law has hit a physical ceiling where chips can't get any faster. What will we do?!
Profile Image for ade_reads.
317 reviews23 followers
June 19, 2017
"But science, not superstition, is based on reproducible, testable, and falsifiable data." (page : 84 - 85)

Finally, I finished this book last night and i'm absolutely hooked!

Focusing on medical care, scientist have created a way to insert a chip and it's complete with a TV camera and radio into a pill takes TV images of your intestines and radios them to a receiver. One advantage of a patients intestines and detect cancers, without the inconvenience of sticking a 6 foot long tube up the large intestine.
In addition, DNA chips are alsio being created which detect mutated genes when youblow on them. That'ss just a sample of the technology being created.

I love the Michio Kaku's writing style, he is not only scientific but he describes the future in a way you can actually picture it your mind.

An interesting book that predicts the future within the next decades to the next century by a physicist. So, I highly suggest this book if you like physics and technology.
Profile Image for Fred Forbes.
966 reviews49 followers
September 16, 2016
I had the pleasure of hearing Michio Kaku speak at a convention and figured if his books are as thought provoking as his speeches, I should grab one. He does write well but I think the title of this one is a bit misleading. It ranges far beyond physics to a variety of sciences to lay out a timeline of coming advances but most importantly it goes far beyond science to human relationships, economics and trade and personal lifestyle. Probably the most intriguing development to me it the incorporation of computers into a contact lens that is capable of being controlled telepathically and that can perform all the functions that current machines do and more. Pick up a copy in a bookstore or library, read the last section which describes a "day in life" of a person on New Year's day in 2100. If that doesn't pique your interest in knowing how he got there, probably not your type of book, but it was certainly mine!
Profile Image for Cav.
658 reviews90 followers
February 4, 2023
"Predicting the world of 2100 is a daunting task, since we are in an era of profound scientific upheaval, in which the pace of discovery is always accelerating. More scientific knowledge has been accumulated just in the last few decades than in all human history. And by 2100, this scientific knowledge will again have doubled many times over..."

Physics of the Future was another great book by the author. I have read 3 or 4 of his other books, and they never disappoint.

Author Michio Kaku (Japanese: ミチオ カク or 加来 道雄) is an American theoretical physicist, futurist, and popularizer of science (science communicator). He is a professor of theoretical physics in the City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Center. Kaku is the author of several books about physics and related topics and has made frequent appearances on radio, television, and film.

Michio Kaku:

Michio Kaku is one of my favorite authors and science communicators. In contrast to many of his peers, Kaku writes in a lively, interesting, and engaging fashion that has no trouble holding the reader's attention. This book - like others of his that I've read - has a great flow. Admittedly, I place a high premium on how engaging the writing in any book is, and my reviews are always heavily weighted to reflect that criteria.

Since I was a little boy I have always been fascinated by the future of science. I read most of the popular sci-fi books as a kid and loved dreaming about the future. This may be one of the reasons why I enjoy Kaku's books so much. He's shared that same wonder and curiosity from an early age.

He continues the quote from the start of the review:
"...But perhaps the best way to grasp the enormity of predicting 100 years into the future is to recall the world of 1900 and remember the lives our grandparents lived.
Journalist Mark Sullivan asks us to imagine someone reading a newspaper in the year 1900: In his newspapers of January 1, 1900, the American found no such word as radio, for that was yet twenty years in from coming; nor “movie,” for that too was still mainly of the future; nor chauffeur, for the automobile was only just emerging and had been called “horseless carriage ….” There was no such word as aviator …. Farmers had not heard of tractors, nor bankers of the Federal Reserve System. Merchants had not heard of chain-stores nor “selfservice”; nor seamen of oil-burning engines …. Ox-teams could still be seen on country roads …. Horses or mules for trucks were practically universal …. The blacksmith beneath the spreading chestnut-tree was a reality."

He also drops this quote; speaking to the scope of the book, and its limitations:
"As a consequence, we are better able to see the direction that science and technology will take in the coming century. There will always be totally unexpected, novel surprises that leave us speechless, but the foundation of modern physics, chemistry, and biology has largely been laid, and we do not expect any major revision of this basic knowledge, at least in the foreseeable future. As a result, the predictions we make in this book are the product not of wild speculation but are reasoned estimates of when the prototype technologies of today will finally reach maturity.
In conclusion, there are several reasons to believe that we can view the outlines of the world of 2100:
1. This book is based on interviews with more than 300 top scientists, those in the forefront of discovery.
2. Every scientific development mentioned in this book is consistent with the known laws of physics.
3. The four forces and the fundamental laws of nature are largely known; we do not expect any major new changes in these laws.
4. Prototypes of all technologies mentioned in this book already exist.
5. This book is written by an “insider” who has a firsthand look at the technologies that are on the cutting edge of research."

Many innovations and predictions for the future are covered here; from self-driving cars, to nanotechnology, to space travel, and much, much more. The scope of the book is quite broad.
It is also a very long book. The audio version I have clocks in at almost 16 hours.


As mentioned at the start of this review; Physics of the Future was a great read. If you are a fan of the author, then this one should be on your list.
5 stars.
Profile Image for Michael.
493 reviews13 followers
May 18, 2011
When I was little I had a book about what would happen in the future, and it was one of my favorite things. Heavy on illustrations. I remember that the pictures were of people in floating cars, buildings under water, that sort of thing. Fanciful and mostly just made up, but tons of fun to think about. I am wishing right now I knew where it was. I guess there's no way that book or anyone could have imagined what actually has happened! Much more impressive in many ways. Hell, the internet came out well after I started college.

This is from a much respected physicist. Probably as well-known for hosting documentaries and such as any work he's done. A spokesman for Physics. He's on the Science Channel and Discovery Channel all the time. Even the History Channel. Michio Kaku. A celebrity scientist, very smart guy. Japanese descent, well-spoken, and able to convey the excitement of scientific discovery as well as anyone I've seen. He works at City College in NYC, where I was trying to be a doctor. Ha! Of course whatever particle physics classes he was teaching were waaay over my head. But I met him in the hall a couple of times and said "Hey, love your shows!"

This book is great. He takes the large scale view of many differing technologies. Nanotech, biotech, genetics, computers, energy, robotics, space exploration, and more. And he speculates where these things are going, and often how they will converge. The book is both wildly speculative and well-grounded in current science. Tough to do. It has to be taken with a grain of salt, but Dr Kaku makes a solid case each and every time for where he thinks things are going. I am getting this one for dad.
Profile Image for Pamela (slytherpuff).
356 reviews32 followers
November 4, 2012
See more of my reviews at Bettering Me Up.

I was really disappointed in this book. I was expecting more information on physics (darn the title for misleading me!) and was instead presented with a book about the future of technology. Which is cool, since that's my field of expertise and I've seen some of the things that Kaku mentioned in the book.

There were some glaring omissions (where is Virgina Tech's CHARLI? And no DARwin? He's the RoboCup champ, for goodness sake!) in the AI section, though it's possible I skimmed over them while my mind was wandering. I'm not going back to check.

After I finished the first two chapters, I could read no further.

The writing made me cringe. I'm surprised that an editor didn't catch some mistakes: lack of proper grammar (especially colons and semicolons); repeating information from previous paragraphs; cliches and hyperbole; and so on.

Kaku repeated the phrase "it may take decades to accomplish this feat" over and over. And over and over and over. Well, yes. This is a book about the future, right? (Darn the misleading title again!)
Profile Image for Javier Santaolalla.
35 reviews1,194 followers
January 7, 2018
La física del futuro de Michio Kaku es un libro donde el autor explora cómo podría ser el mundo en 100 años vista, esto es, a finales del siglo XXI. Trata temas de gran interés como la medicina, la economía o la energía, en un libro por lo tanto muy variado.
Es un libro accesible a todos los públicos, recomendable en especial para aquellos que les gusta imaginarse el futuro, y en el que Michio Kaku se moja a predecir el futuro siguiendo evidencias científicas razonables y con el asesoramiento de expertos en cada campo. Por lo tanto un libro muy bien documentado y en todo momento vinculado a la ciencia.
Si esperas aprender sobre la especialidad de Michio, física de cuerdas, multiversos, dimensiones extra... este no es tu libro, ¡ojo! Es todo física aplicada y su impacto en la sociedad.
Y con un precioso mensaje para las próximas generaciones: la ciencia es el motor de las sociedades, es lo que crea el cambio y mueve las civilizaciones hacia el futuro; por eso que podemos entender el futuro observando la evolución de la ciencia.
El futuro... ¡es nuestro!
Profile Image for George Saoulidis.
Author 223 books594 followers
March 26, 2015
Great foundation for hard sci-fi inspiration. Mr Kaku is a well educated nerd and we love him for it.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
243 reviews9 followers
January 8, 2016
This was an interesting book for me. I'm a scientist myself, but my field, geology, tends to look into the past rather than the future. It made me more aware of the upcoming breakthroughs in physics, medicine and computers. I liked the fact the author is a quantum physicist himself and fully knowledgeable about these ideas and actually got to physically test and see the technology himself. I had no idea how far away we are from creating a true artificial intelligence and nanotechnology, but how close we are in major breakthroughs in medicine such as organ replacements or building a colony on moon. The latter is hindered by cost only, but the technology is there. The science is broken down very simple, so anyone can read this.
The one irk I had was he has a very optimistic view of humanity and all these breakthroughs will be for the good of the people. History says that some inventions will have a dark side and there are people and societies that will exploit that. Examples include gunpowder, used originally for fireworks, now more used as a weapon and nuclear energy.
Profile Image for Queenie.
52 reviews22 followers
November 24, 2019
2 things I'm certain of:
1. Dr. Kaku is a sci-fi movie fanatic;
2. Dr. Kaku loves Greek and Norse mythologies.

Reading this 2011-book in 2018 is liken to going through a condensed, dumbed-down compilation of my Twitter feed speculations throughout the years / today's middle school intro science & technology textbook.

It covers various topics in technological histories and advances such as computers, AI, biotechnology, nanotechnology, energy - briefly on fusion power and magnetism even-, climate change, space exploration. Some more amusing than others, all rather simply dabbled in.

Interesting to note that we now have self-driving cars, genome-editing is possible with CRISPR Cas 9; androids exist (ahem, Sophia), despite not having a consciousness / common sense, yet. Let's see what Nasa's TESS will find on its space ex mission.
Profile Image for TarasProkopyuk.
686 reviews94 followers
July 19, 2015
Превосходная, качественная и захватывающая книга!

Автор проделал прекрасную работу собрав множество научных открытий в эту книгу. Она словно поток фактов о с острия научного мира от первых его лиц. Да, многое нам уже известно из новостных сводок и может не так уж и удивит, но когда данные о передовых научных открытиях собраны в одно единое место и очень хорошо систематизированы, то читая книгу словно попадаешь в будущее.

После прочтения книги вы вряд ли станете равнодушным к науке или к изобретательству. Книга отличная!
Profile Image for Correen.
1,114 reviews
June 7, 2014

Kaku makes the complex understandable. That is, one does not understand the complexities but rather has a sense of what is happening. This book creates a sense of wonder. His look into the 22nd century seemed too pat but still challenging to the mind. Given how difficult it has been to find cures for cancer, parkinson's, or even the common cold, it is hard to consider how disease could be eradicated. On the other hand, the use of dust sized computers, seems quite possible.

I would recommend this book for inquiring minds of most ilks.
Profile Image for John Doez.
224 reviews39 followers
June 26, 2021
Reconozco que yo tengo al menos la mitad de la culpa de tan pobre valoración. Cuando uno compra un libro de, digamos, prospección científica del futuro, se lo debe leer inmediatamente. Yo he dejado pasar diez años (el copyright es de 2011) y, claro, el mundo ha avanzado y la ciencia también. La gran mayoría de la información que proporciona el autor en el libro está superada, desfasada o, al menos en mi caso, es conocida. Con lo cual, no me ha aportado mucho.

Ahora bien, el libro tampoco resulta especialmente interesante. Y el autor no colabora mucho, especialmente cuando aparece en la solapa con el pelo negro. O bien utilizaba tinte, o bien la foto era antigua, o bien se ha llevado el susto de su vida, porque estamos cansados de verle en documentales con el cabello totalmente cano. Y, claro, esto no ayuda a que parezca que estás leyendo el último grito de la ciencia.

Por otro lado, las prospecciones no son excesivamente imaginativas. Se puede ver que algunas de sus visiones de futuro a largo plazo se van a cumplir en un menor periodo de tiempo. Por ejemplo, su visión de la Inteligencia Artificial me parece miope.

En fin, que no puedo recomendar este libro.
Profile Image for Alex Givant.
276 reviews34 followers
February 14, 2019
Excellent book about future of humankind. Each chapter divided by 3 portions: near future (until 2030), mid of the century (2030 to 2070) and far future (2070 to 2100). Considering he wrote this book 8 years ago we may be more advance that he projected.
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